Sunday, 19 September 2010


I don't normally post on a Sunday, but I'm SPEAKing up. I'm also leaving this post up for Monday as well.

In an opinion piece, Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK has been characterised as filthy and immoral. Then goes on to call "soft pornography" due to two rape scenes.

Laurie Halse Anderson's original post on the subject can be found here.

Myra McEntire's post.

C.J.Redwine's amazing post here 

I don't pretend to know the trauma of rape. The posts above speak with more eloquence on the subject than I ever could. But I'll stand up with them. I'll speak alongside them.

Everyone has the right to free speech. However, there are people in this world who speak without understanding what they're saying. Who may form other's opinions on the book without letting them use their own judgement.

"Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country." (From Laurie Halse Anderson's blog)

For me SPEAK is a powerful, heartbreaking, thought provoking book about a subject people don't like to talk about. Speak has given so many people a voice. It's a shame others have decided to use their voice to try to silence it.


Katrina L. Lantz said...

Thank you for speaking up about this. I've read one book about rape (didn't happen to be this one), and one book is all it took to open my eyes to what millions of women are living with. I think the old statistic is that 1 in 3 girls are sexually molested by a certain age. That is horrific, and reading about it as a young teen not only helped me to understand what others may be going through that I couldn't see, but it also prepared me for the world, which is not always friendly to little girls.

It helped me to understand, despite prejudices of others, that victims of rape are not to blame in any way. That's important information to a child who is susceptible to the opinions of those around her. So even though I am very protective of my own kids when it comes to sex in literature, I know this is something different--something important. It's not pornography. It's therapy.

Parents should have an open discussion with their teens about the issues brought up in this book, including drug use and promiscuity, but especially rape--its ugliness. If parents did this, there would be fewer incidents of it in the world, because their sons and daughters wouldn't even think about doing this to another human being.

Let them read Speak. They'll be better for it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think it's a horrifying thing to happen to a women. Men who commit such acts cease to be human.

For those who don't like the subject, the solution is easy - just don't read it.

Renae said...

It saddens me to know that there are such horrid individuals in this world. That being said, they are out there and girls need to be aware.

And as Alex so wonderfully put it, if the subject bothers you, don't read it.

Hannah said...

I feel proud to know such amazing people in the blog world speaking up on such a tragic subject.

I agree with Alex and Renae, if something bothers you that much just don't read it.

Natasha said...

Thank you for your post. I have not read the book, nor was even aware of the controversy (live in India, so only heard of it through blogdom today). But you are right, somethings need to be vocalised, if only so others in the situation know they are not alone. Thank you for posting.

Christine Fonseca said...

SPEAK is an amazing and important read! THANKS for speaking up too...

Lisa Gail Green said...

So glad you are standing up for SPEAK!

Julie Musil said...

I haven't read this book, but the attempt to ban it only piques my curiosity. Now I MUST read it!

Jemi Fraser said...

I was so glad to see so many people speaking up yesterday when this came to my attention. I'll never understand book banning or people who try to impose their realities on each other.